The Culturally Competent Racist and Sanitizing White Supremacy

Often, when racism/white supremacy occur at a predominantly white school or in a work environment, human resources bring in “cultural competency” trainings or workshops as well as organize a day of  “Let’s celebrate our differences” .

Let’s be frank: the issue is not “cultural competency” (this is a sanitizing term) or the need to “celebrate our differences.”  Such a response to racist attitudes/behavior simply masks systemic racism and white supremacy; these are the fundamental problems– not some happy day of celebrating “all the colors of the rainbow.” First, how about these places use exact and direct language and call it what it is: racism and white supremacy. Bringing in curriculum labeled “Anti-racism training” or “Systemic white supremacy literacy and intervention” unveils the reality of what needs to be dealt with.  Instead of simply focusing on “cultural difference” and/or “cultural competency”, require pragmatic interventions about anti-Blackness and USA’s white supremacist racial caste system, to name a few, are necessary.

Also, do not tell me that the person who just called me “nigger”, says that “all Black men are thugs,” or has made the claim that I don’t sound “ghetto like most Black people” needs to be taught to have racial tolerance towards me; towards Black people. What I hear is, “Yea, HR knows that Black people are intolerable making it nearly impossible for white people to not lash out with racially offensive words or imagery when they have to be around them. How about we send you to a class so you can learn how to at least tolerate them and not do anything that is ‘culturally inappropriate.'” 

I know my framing of intervention doesn’t bode well with the mainstream because of ‘white fragility'(white rage), but coddling [mostly] white feelings by implying “it’s just about cultural difference” when it’s about white supremacist racism is an epic fail . You can have a training that doesn’t individually attack white people but rather, shows how racism and white supremacy operate at the systemic and institutional levels. Making sure that the racial status quo “doesn’t feel bad” or “guilty” is ridiculous. Teaching about how a white supremacist racial caste system operates (from the micro to the macro levels) is not about feelings; it’s about justice and doing what is right. I repeat, bringing in cultural competence ‘experts’ is not usually the best course of action. Why…?

If a white person at work or in class calls a Black person “nigger” or posts lynching signs, they are truly culturally competent in the fundamental roots of anti-Blackness and white supremacy that the USA was founded upon. They are very literate in this. They know the right words or non-verbal actions to reinforce the white supremacist racial caste system that the USA uses as a bedrock for normative culture.

Let’s move beyond cosmetic diversity and towards operationalizing racial equity, social and restorative justice in response to racism on every level.

Now for some yummy kale chips to fight against the constant racial battle fatigue symptoms that plague thousands of racialized minorities in the USA that spend oodles of time trying to explain this (sigh). Kale is an amazing nutritional tool that helps me get through my anti-racism work through intense nutritional support. You’ll be hearing more about my project that merges recipes for racial battle fatigue, analysis of the ethical foodscape, and black feminist theory that is coming out next year: Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches….


Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

From Sacramento to Penn State: Uprooting White Fragility and Other Updates

 

 


“Make Veganism Great Again”: Keeping the Negro out of the Post-Racial Vegan Foodscape

I just came back from doing a phenomenal Racial Equity and Ethical Consumption workshop and lecture (video link soon to come) at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. 

I rocked the house. Students left with a whole new way to think about racial equity, veganism, limits of “diversity” in a neoliberal capitalist era– all within the framework of ethical consumption. It was hosted by the VegOut and Womxn of Color groups at Wesleyan. The title of the talk refers to my analysis of how my interrogations of race and whiteness within the USA vegan mainstream, over the last 12 years, has yielded many negative responses; responses that indicate I am supposedly making veganism ‘impure’ and distracting from making it ‘great’ again (i.e., white masculinist objective vegan logic, “untainted” by the other). During the talk, I argued that I was ‘border crossing’ into white cisgender man’s epistemological vegan space… and similar to Trump, many– mostly white– vegans respond by building psychic “walls” to keep myself and many non-white critical race and vegan scholars out. Basically, “Keep the negro out of the post-racial ethical and vegan foodscape.” LOL.

I spoke of racially coded language, cognitive dissonance, Thug Kitchen, and wondered if the plethora of white vegans on Facebook from 2014 — who didn’t understand Ferguson and Mike Brown’s murder– would have sympathized more with him had he been accused of stealing kale or tofu (such objects have a closer proximity to ‘civilized whiteness’ than cigars, the “object of negroes being disobedient”).

Excerpt from talk

Trump has a “law and order” rhetoric on groups focused on anti-police will not be tolerated during his administration– there is no mention of solidarity with Black Lives Matter or the tackling of racial profiling, which is a complete 180, in comparison to former President Barack Obama, who supported BLM’s underlying principles to advocate against racial profiling and the systemic wide racialized violence targeting Black people.

The cry of “law and order” as a remedy to obvious decades of anti-Blackness, militarized police state, and systemic racism was nothing new within the landscape of Republican/GOP rhetoric and power-play strategies. “Law and order”, as a response to racial justice and civil rights activism by those determined to fight their oppression, is the playbook that Nixon used to “deal” with the “civil disobedience” from those Black Americans (and allies) that were protesting the violence of racism that secured the power and privilege of white elite like Nixon.

One does not have to search too far back in history to see images of Black people being subjected to “law and order” while they peacefully protest. The hoses, the dogs, the beatings, the killings, batons crushing skulls, being thrown into jail and tortured.

Even though I have started off talking about Trump…this talk isn’t necessarily going to be about Trump as much as it will be about the red flags I observed during the past ten years of scholarships and activism I have engaged in that ultimately shows how Trump’s win was the “logical” outcome, that reflects how race continues to matter in not just politics, but all aspects of life in the USA including the ethical foodscape ….if one just knows how to read the signs.

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper, March 3 2017. Wesleyan University.

So far the Sistah Vegan Project has brought Operationalizing Racial Equity in Ethical Consumption and similar workshops, consulting, and lectures to college campuses and organizations throughout the world, including Fresno State University, The Pollination Project, Middlebury College, Vegan Outreach, Stanford University, Whidbey Institute, VegFest UK (Scotland), Concordia University (Montreal), Lawrence University, and University of California-Santa Cruz to name a few.


Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Contact us at sistahvegan at gmail.com to bring featured trainer and speaker, Dr. A. Breeze Harper to your campus or organization. Learn more about her work and what she can offer here.

 

From Seed to Table[t]: Foodie+Tech Culture in an Era of Systemic Racism and Neoliberal Capitalism (Challenges and Possibilities)

 

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In May of 2015 I wrote an article that interrogated the role of Foodie+Tech culture within an era of neoliberal capitalism and a racist food system. A surprisingly high number of you privately emailed me to express enthusiasm and appreciation for me having written this article. In addition, having attended quite a few food+tech (or similar) events in the SF Bay area over the last few years, the assumption during most of these events is that we live in a ‘post-racial’ USAmerican [food] system.

For 2017, the theme for the next interactive web conference will be:

From Seed to Table[t]: Foodie+Tech Culture in an Era of Systemic Racism and Neoliberal Capitalism (Challenges and Possibilities)

Originally, this event was supposed to take place Fall of 2016; I had written a blog post about it about one year ago. However, the Sistah Vegan Project delayed the event in order to do more work and research about this topic. We wanted to make the event as fruitful and innovative as possible.  The new date for the event will be in the Fall of 2017.

Our last conference was the groundbreaking Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter in 2015. If you missed it, you can download the conference recordings and powerpoint slides by clicking on the image below:

veganpraxisblm(fb)

There will be more details to come about this upcoming conference. For now, you can get an idea about what the conference will be about by reading my 2015 article: “FROM SEED TO TABLE[T]: CAN FOODIE-TECH STARTUPS CHANGE A NEOLIBERAL, RACIST, AND CAPITALIST [FOOD] SYSTEM?

After reading this article, do you have ideas for topics we should discuss or speakers to invite? Post your thoughts  and questions in the comments section!


Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

The Vegan Game-Changer: Forager Project’s New Vegan Yogurt

I did a review of the Forager Project’s new yogurt. It is non-soy based, non-coconut based, higher in protein than the coconut alternatives and super yummy.

Here is a video review of the product.

More about Forager Project here.


Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

[PODCAST] Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Review)

 

In this podcast I read Dr. Corey Lee Wrenn’s review of my 2014 novel, Scars. She comes from a critical feminist, critical race, vegan and critical animal rights perspective.

 

CLICK ON IMAGE TO PURCHASE

This review was by Dr. Corey Wrenn. You can learn more about her here.


Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked offFoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

“Bridging the [cis]gender gap in the workplace”: Outdated Cissexist Rhetoric

Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

I find it interesting that there is a lot of talk about “bridging the gender gap” in terms of problems with diversity in the USAmerican workplace– particularly here in the SF Bay area’s tech region. I have observed that most people who offer services and tools for organizational development/hiring/retention and “diversity”, continue to pose the “Gender gap” question within a cis-sexist framework. What I mean is that the “gender gap” question keeps on focusing on cisgender women and how they compare to cisgender men.

What about people who do not identify as cisgender? In addition, the cisgender assumption is quite one dimensional and assumes factors such as race have nothing to do with the “[cis]-gender gap.” I am bringing this up because I keep on receiving emails or tweet notifications about businesses that create services and tools to “Tackle the gender gap” but are within a white cisgender framing of this “diversity” problem. It’s almost as if most people offering business solutions who are working on the “gender gap” do not have a degree or deep experience in critical race feminism (or similar). Their conceptualization of “Gender gap” is 2nd wave feminist- outdated. Lastly, many show their reports about gender in the workplace by continuing to use “male” and “female” in describing “gender”. Male and female are not “Genders”; they are biological sexes assigned at birth (and even the ‘biological’ is socially constructed)…. Any thoughts on this?


Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked offFoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system.

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives Matter. In tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

 

Best of 2016: Top 10 Sistah Vegan Blog Posts From the Past Year

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2016 is coming to a close. During this time of year, I publish the top 10 Sistah Vegan blog posts from the last year. I hope you enjoyed this past year’s articles, pictures, and videos. Please consider donating to the Sistah Vegan Project through Patreon to keep us going strong and fund our two book projects. Enjoy the recap.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

Top 10 of 2016

  1. ‘LITTLE RACIST’ PEBBLES: WHEN YOUR 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IS ASHAMED OF HER AFRO
  2. THE [WHITE SAVIOR] ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: ALLY THEATER, SAVIOR COMPLEX, AND SPEAKING FOR ‘THE OTHER’
  3. [VEGAN SPECIAL EDITION]: A PROGRESSIVE INVESTMENT IN WHITENESS (‘NON-RACIST’ ‘CRUELTY-FREE’ DONOR POWER)
  4. WEARING A HOODIE AND GOING VEGAN ARE ‘EASY AS PIE’?: WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT ARE YOU REALLY ASKING FOR?
  5. THE PROP OF BLACK PEOPLE IN WHITE SELF-PERCEPTIONS: REVISITING THE SLAVERY COMPARISON (GUEST POST: CHRISTOPHER SEBASTIAN MCJETTERS)
  6. “SUSPICIOUS” [BLACK] PERSON MOVING IN? OR MAYBE THEY TREAT EVERYONE THAT WAY?
  7. [VIDEO] UPROOTING WHITE FRAGILITY: INTERSECTIONAL ANTI-RACISM IN THE ‘POST-RACIAL’ ETHICAL FOODSCAPE
  8. “VEGANISM SHOULD ALWAYS ‘TRUMP’ INTERSECTIONALITY: MAKE VEGANISM GREAT [AND WHITE] AGAIN!”
  9. “HOW COULD ‘WE’ LET TRUMP HAPPEN?” DON’T INCLUDE [BLACK] ME IN YOUR [WHITE] ‘WE’]
  10. ALL LIVES MATTER BRINGS THE COUNTRY TOGETHER WHILE BLACK LIVES MATTER IS ‘DIVIDING’ US (NOT SYSTEMIC RACISM!)
  11. FANON’S TEARS, OCTAVIA’S HOPE: THE ONGOING TRAUMA OF RACIALIZED VIOLENCE AND STRATEGIC IGNORANCE

(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)
(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked offFoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK

The Messy Truth is That Your [Working Class] Whiteness is Not Like Trump’s [Elite] Whiteness

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I watched an episode of Van Jones’ new series “The Messy Truth” that has him talking to Trump supporters in battleground states who are convinced that voting for Trump means Trump will make America ‘great’ again by making sure the working class can have financially secure and thriving employment.

In the episode I saw, Van was in the living room of this white family in Gettysburg. There was a husband, wife and 3 sons (who are old enough to vote).  Van Jones asked the husband what the husband did when he kept on hearing the racism, the Islamaphobia, and xenophobia being spewed by Trump and a significant number of his supporters. The husband’s answer was predictable and disappointing: He said he threw all that junk/garbage away (cognitive dissonance maybe?) and concluded that all that didn’t matter. Why? Because it was all about how Trump was going to help working class families like his and that is all he (husband) should be focusing on.

The family seemed to make their support be about them needing someone who can “speak” for and help the working class..but all I heard was the white privilege to basically tell Van Jones that all that racism et. al is junk and garbage and that it doesn’t matter [to white people] because, “We’ll, I am a freaking white guy, so why the hell should I care that Trump embodies racism, anti-Muslim, xenophobic and misogynistic rhetoric? I am protected because my family is white just like Trump. He is looking out for the backbone of the USA which is the working class [white heteronormative] family in which the woman runs the kitchen and the man runs the home.” 

Did anyone else catch that when the husband first said that women can do whatever they want to do (in terms of career, running for office, etc) and how his wife has a Masters in Teaching… but that ultimately in their household, “Mama runs the kitchen and Dad runs the house”; wow, he sounds contradictory, proud that his wife has a Masters but still she knows her place in his household (and the upcoming Trump USA). His wife was hard to read and I wonder how honest she was being in her ’support’ of Trump and how the gender power dynamic works in that household.  She said she voted for Trump but voted for democratic candidates for everything else on her ballot on November 8. But, the thing is….

…this family is not in the same category of whiteness as Trump and his family who are part of dynastic elite whiteness. This working class family’s delusional and possessive investment in whiteness make them believe it anyway; that they are perceived by Trump as being the same caliber as Trump’s whiteness. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think it would be great to read the book Wages of Whiteness about intersection of whiteness, working class, and racism amongst working class whites. I also highly recommend the books White Rage and Possessive Investment in Whiteness. Also, revisit my older blog posts related to Trump here and here


(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)
(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist forCritical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked offFoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

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The [Vegan] Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives Matter– Deadline Extended to November 15 2016

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For Screen readers:

In 2010, Lantern Books published the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan, edited by Dr. A. Breeze Harper. This is an anthology of Black women identified vegans who reflect on food, identity, health, and society.

Dr. A. Breeze Harper of the Sistah Vegan Project and Aph Ko of Black Vegans Rock will be organizing and co-editing a sequel to Sistah Vegan called ‘The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives Matter’ (working title). For this volume, we envision deeply critical engagements by Black identified vegans, who are doing social justice, food Justice, environmental justice, etc. from an intersectional framework. The volume will centralize the significance of living during the era of Black Lives Matter. How are you, as a Black identified vegan, engaged in the continuum of dismantling systemic racism (and other ‘isms’) that affect Black people throughout the world?

Who we are seeking: Black identified vegans who employ the tenets of ethical veganism through intersectional justice (i.e. anti-racism, anti-ableism, anti-speciesism, LGBTQ rights, Black Liberation); someone who does not frame veganism or Black Liberation within the often mainstream and confining narrative that is almost always cissexist, heteronormative, fat shaming, ableist, and classist to name a few.

What we are accepting: (1) Critical essays, poems, or narratives of no more than 6000 words; (2) Artwork/design ideas for the cover.

Deadline for abstracts: November 15, 2016.

Deadline for final submissions: April 15, 2017.

Email questions and abstracts to: Dr. A. Breeze Harper – sistahvegan@gmail.com


(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)
(Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist forCritical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of books and articles related to critical race feminism, intersectional anti-racism, and ethical consumption. As a writer, she is best known as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). Dr. Harper has been invited to deliver many keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. In 2015, her lecture circuit focused on the analysis of food and whiteness in her book Scars and on “Gs Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix)which explored how key Black vegan men use hip-hop methods to create “race-conscious” and decolonizing approaches to vegan philosophies. In 2016, she collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the backgrounder Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked offFoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system

Dr. Harper is the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project which has put on several ground-breaking conferences with emphasis on intersection of racialized consciousness, anti-racism, and ethical consumption (i.e., veganism, animal rights, Fair Trade). Last year she organized the highly successful conference The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter which can be downloaded.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact the life of the only Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. Her current 2016 lecture circuit focuses on excerpts from her latest book in progress, Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ Ethical Foodscape which will be released in 2017, along with the second Sistah Vegan project anthology The Praxis of Justice in an Era of Black Lives MatterIn tandem with these book projects, she is well-known for her talks and workshops about “Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape” and “Intersectional Anti-Racism Activism.”

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Harper was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Humane Party— the only vegan political party in the USA with focus on human and non-human animals.

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT'S LATEST BOOK